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Mobile data and financial services underpinned African operator groups’ revenue growth in 2020

18 May 2021 | Research

Karim Yaici

Article | PDF (3 pages) | Digital Services| The Middle East and Africa


"The increased awareness and penetration of mobile money services in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated operators’ plans to develop new financial services."

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Airtel, Moov, MTN, Orange and Vodacom (the main operator groups in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)) reported revenue growth in 2020 thanks to the strong demand for mobile data and digital services. The adoption of money services increased in SSA in 2020 because more customers embraced digital payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis also accelerated operators’ plans to offer new financial services to consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In this article, we examine the 2020 financial performance of the five operator groups mentioned above, discuss the factors that contributed to the surge in mobile money use in SSA and explain how operators are capitalising on this trend to diversify their digital payment portfolios.

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